The new year brings new challenges and since water-related concerns are on the rise, water safety in large buildings such as hospitals, colleges, residences or workplaces has become a priority to employers and building managers in the United States, the UK, Europe and other developed countries. This is the reason why water-quality related training is on the rise.
While it seems fair to simply trust that your area’s water is healthy and clean, contaminant concentrations in the form of haloacetic acids, bacteria and lead may vary from city to city. This signals that you should not assume the drinking water in your workplace is always safe.
Worldwide, millions are drinking contaminated water every day. Such contaminants may include poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). These are used in commercial and industrial products that ultimately might make their way into your water source. These contaminants have been linked to development of cancer and can affect your kidneys, blood pressure and nervous system. Keeping this is mind, it is imperative that we take all necessary precautions to make sure that the drinking water within our building or workspace is sanitized and fit to drink. There are multiple reasons why getting trained and educating yourself about water-quality related issues would be useful in the future:
While in workplaces employers hold responsibility to be informed of by the local water supplier, we should all be as precautions as we can. In other types of large buildings such as residences or other residential buildings there might not be a clear figure responsible for water related issues. Bearing this in mind, water cleanliness depends on the source. An example of a great provider is one that is run and maintained by a municipality. Usually water sources that are maintained by a municipality are monitored, waters running from these systems are analysed, and health standards for the water are stringently enforced.
Inquire to the water supplier that manages the source of your water and ask for information about its contents. You will be able to figure out whether contaminants have been found in your drinking water in the past or recently and whether any of them have reached potentially unsafe levels. When contaminant levels violate health and safety standards, it is mandatory that our local water supplier notifies us.
It will teach you the necessity of being proactive
Constant (or frequent) monitoring of safety standards for your building or office’s drinking water is essential in order to avoid unwanted consequences, which can include a sick community or even fines to employers.
If you are an employer, in order to find out if your local water supply contains contaminants such as PFASs, consider approaching a state-certified laboratory or simply your county health department for a water test on a quarterly basis depending on your office’s location. If need be, you may also consider installing carbon filters to remove chlorine, lead and other types of impurities from drinking water channels within your workspace. You can also go the extra mile by receiving specialised legionella training for employers.
Being prepared: water safety plans
Water safety plans are one of the most efficient methods to guarantee the water safety through an approach that considers all the important steps, from the original source through water treatment and the distribution to employees. The water safety plan identifies all significant risks, ensuring that controls are applied to avoid or minimise risks. The implementation of water safety plans and a good management by those responsible for drinking-water distribution can ensure water safety.
Water safety plans for workspaces should focus on drinking-water networks. While the employer is responsible for guaranteeing a quality drinking-water within the workplace, the application of water safety plans is the responsibility of various stakeholders. If you are an employer, and even if you are not in charge of designing and developing a water safety plan, ultimately you should ensure the plan is carried out and as a consequence employees will be able to drink quality water with all guarantees.
Providing members of your team with safe drinking water is the responsibility of every employer. Being proactive and taking extra measures to guarantee drinking water in the workspace is constantly safe also indicates that the employer values employees’ health and well-being.
“Iñigo is a London-based digital copywriter passionate about the new technologies and the online universe. He spends his time writing about the topics he loves, travelling as much as he can and playing sports“.